Ocean current

An ocean current is a current that flows more or less permanently in one of the Earth's oceans.

Ocean currents may flow for thousands of kilometers. They are very important in determining the climates of the continents bordering on the oceans they flow in. The most striking example is the Gulf Stream, which makes north-west Europe much more temperate than any other region at the same latitude. However the importance of currents is also illustrated by the El Niño effect, in which the temporary reversal of an ocean current causes devastating climatic change in South America, whose effects spread as far as Australia.

Ocean currents are also very important in the dispersal of many life forms. A dramatic example is the life-cycle of the eel.

Important currents include:

Table of contents
1 Arctic Ocean
2 Atlantic Ocean
3 Pacific Ocean
4 Indian Ocean
5 Southern Ocean

Arctic Ocean

  • East Greenland Current
  • Norwegian Current

Atlantic Ocean

Pacific Ocean

  • Aleutian Current
  • Humboldt Current (or Peru Current)
  • Kuroshio Current (or Japan Current)
  • North Equatorial Current
  • South Equatorial Current

Indian Ocean

Southern Ocean

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